LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca was selected for his second All-Star Game appearance Thursday night, replacing injured Reds first baseman Sean Casey.
National League manager Jack McKeon said Lo Duca would provide more depth behind the plate.
"We decided we didn't want to get caught short at catcher," said McKeon. "Piazza has played a lot of first base, so we wanted to add another catcher and Paul has had a very good year."
"I'm excited. I'm not going to lie to you," said Lo Duca, who is hitting .308, with six homers and 35 RBIs. "To be in the same clubhouse with Barry, Griffey Jr., Sosa. The 500 home run club. I'll take it all in."
Paul Lo Duca / C
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Lo Duca's excitement was tempered by the fact that teammate Adrian Beltre -- the third baseman who has pretty much put the rest of the Dodgers offense on his back all season -- wouldn't join him in Houston for the Midsummer Classic.
"It's a little bittersweet," said Lo Duca. "I feel Belly should go, I really do. A lot of guys should go except me. There are probably a lot of guys more deserving. I didn't think there was a possibility. I already had my flight to go home (to San Antonio).
"It's been a struggle lately," said Lo Duca, who has hit .140 over the last three weeks, "but I feel good and the team's winning."
Meanwhile, Beltre, limping around with bone spurs in his ankle, is having a career year hitting .316 with 22 home runs and 56 RBIs.
"Belly congratulated me, but I told him you deserve to go," said Lo Duca. "If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be where we're at. He's carried us the last month."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro, a reporter for MLB.com, contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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